Interview by: Sushmita Das of Barktatullah University, Bhopal
Advocate Santosh Kumar Ray, Calcutta High Court, having Law Firm at Calcutta known as SKR & ASSOCIATES.
The firm SKR & ASSOCIATES was established in the year 2003 by its Proprietor Sri Santosh Kumar Ray, Advocate. With the help of a dedicated team of Advocates, the firm has taken steady and focused steps to ensure its growth and increase its client base across the city.
Having a modest beginning, the firm now boasts of 3 Law Offices. In such a short duration SKR & Associates has become a well known name in Calcutta due to its speedy in-house practices and processes, passion and dedication of the work force.
1. How would you Introduce yourself to our Readers?
Born and brought up in Calcutta, I spent a major part of my childhood amongst people from various walks of life. Now, after having spent 13 years in the legal fraternity, I am still striving to make myself better with each day. For me, every day is like a stepping stone.
I take pride in how far I have come and have faith in how far I have set my goals that are to be achieved. Over the years, I have grown through experience that my life has met through honesty and courage. I have taken more risks that I could have ever imagined.
2. How did you gravitate towards the field of law?
I am the first generation in my family to have studied law. My father used to be an employee of the Calcutta High Court, so often I would visit the High Court with him when I was barely 10 or 12 years old.
I must have been too young then to understand what “Court” was, however, the ‘black robes’ used to fascinate me. I soon understood that it was a very learned profession, and in the coming few years, I had made up my mind to devote myself to it.
3. When did you decide to take up law as a profession? Tell us about your early professional experiences in the field of law?
I decided to take up Law as a profession after having completed my High School. During my early days in this profession, life did not come easy since I did not have any Godfather in this field.
I faced loneliness; the fear psychology had often gripped me. After enrollment with the Bar Council of West Bengal, initially there were days when I had no case briefs. Nobody knew me in this field.
But I was determined. I would attend the Court and observe the case proceedings, the mannerism of the Counsels, and try and pick up a line or two on the art of making submissions. For the initial few months, I did not make any money.
Then, one day a gentleman approached me with his case papers. He had a strange condition, if I won the case, I would be entitled to a fee, however, in case I lost, he would not pay me anything.
I saw this as a golden opportunity to prove myself. We won the case, and he not only paid me a hefty amount, but also recommended me to his friends.
This is how I started expanding my wings in this profession and built my client base. I started providing legal opinion independently. My interaction with my clients gradually made me more confident.
4. Where do you like to see yourself in the next ten years down the line?
Ten years down the line, I intend to develop my legal skills in a holistic manner. I have always been hungry for a greater level of knowledge and experience, and considering our profession is an ever learning journey, I don’t think that I will be satiated on that front, any time soon.
I would definitely see my law firm having Pan-India presence. I am already working to expand my clientele base at present. As for myself, I want to grow with my client’s satisfaction.
Our law firm has embraced diversity by promoting and sustaining an open, inclusive and supportive work environment.
The open culture at our law firm means that you’ll be able to learn from everyone up to the highest levels – and that’s the kind of experience you simply won’t find elsewhere.
5. What is the nature of matters that your law firm takes up?
We deal with all types of cases in our law firm. Advocates having specialization in different areas of law are retained to provide effective solutions for our clients.
The areas of law that are majorly looked after by our firm are Corporate Law, Arbitration, Civil Suit, Commercial Disputes related to Tender, Insolvency Proceedings and White Collar Criminal cases amongst others.
6. What would you advice to the Young Law Students?
Be very passionate about taking up law as a profession. Law is one of the greatest healing professions, for it heals societal rifts.
Every new day is a learning experience in this profession and one must always look forward to take up the challenges involved in this profession.
Always ask questions, and never give up on what you really want to do. Having said that, hard work, perseverance and discipline are the essentials if you intend to take up litigation as a profession.
Success is nothing more than a few important disciplines practiced every day. One should make it a habit of reading one judgment daily.
Law is a dynamic subject which evolves and changes regularly hence one should also be very well acquainted with new amendments in the statutes and current affairs.
And always remember, if you are absolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, no one can stop you from achieving your goals.